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State Dept. Daily Press Briefing for October 18

Daily Press Briefing Richard Boucher, Spokesman Washington, DC October 18, 2002


DEPARTMENT 1-2 Planned Travel by Secretary Powell to Mexico for APEC Meeting and to Crawford, Texas

COTE D IVOIRE 2 Government and Rebels to Sign Ceasefire Agreement 2 Situation Update

NORTH KOREA 2-3 US Discussions with Countries about Nuclear Weapons Program 4 Under Secretary Bolton and Assistant Secretary Kelly s Consult with Allies 5-6 Confirmation of Possession of Nuclear Weapons 6 Possibility of Involvement by UN Security Council 15 Other Countries Possible Assistance with Nuclear Weapons Development

IRAQ 6-7, 8-12 Status of UN Security Council Resolution / Text of Resolution 7-8, 9-10 Consultations with Governments on Resolution 8-9 Secretary Powell s Meeting with Dr. Blix

SAUDI ARABIA 13-14 Fingerprinting of US Citizens Entering Saudi Arabia

ISRAEL/PALESTINIANS 15 Secretary Powell s Meeting with Prime Minister Sharon 16-17 Roadmap Presented to Prime Minister Sharon

LEBANON-ISRAEL 16 Water Dispute Update

INDONESIA 17 US Government Knowledge of Terrorist Threat

UKRAINE 17 Visit by US-UK Expert Team

COLOMBIA 17 Extradition of Former Government Minister Carlos Arturo Marulanda


MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. If I can, let me start off by talking about two things. The first is that Secretary of State Powell will lead the United States delegation to the APEC Ministerial meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico next week. He will be departing Washington on the 23rd, Wednesday, and doing down to Los Cabos. He will be attending the meetings there and then coming up to Crawford for the meetings that the President is having with President Jiang Zemin of China, and then he will be going back to down to Cabos for further meetings with the President but probably -- well, returning here over the weekend. Don't have an exact time at this point.

QUESTION: Wednesday?

MR. BOUCHER: Leaving Wednesday.

QUESTION: Are you going to be with him?

MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Will you?


QUESTION: Doesn't the meeting begin on Wednesday?

MR. BOUCHER: The meeting begins on Wednesday. As you know, this is a meeting that has a lot of trade, economics and other things. I think Trade Representative Bob Zoellick will be down there handling a lot of our business on Wednesday, as well as perhaps other ministers.

QUESTION: Okay. And then Crawford? What day is he leaving?

MR. BOUCHER: The Crawford meetings with President Jiang Zemin are on Friday the 25th. He'll probably go up Thursday night and spend Friday in Crawford with the President and the Chinese, and then come back down to Los Cabos.

QUESTION: But you don't know when that will --

MR. BOUCHER: I'm not going to do the schedule from here. All schedules are subject to change.

QUESTION: But when he goes back to Mexico on Friday night or whatever, will he be taking his own plane and taking press?

MR. BOUCHER: I'm not going to do schedules from here. All schedules and arrangements are subject to change, and let's not try it.

Number two, on Cote D'Ivoire. The first thing I want to say is that we welcome the decision of the government and the rebels to sign a ceasefire agreement. We also applaud President Gbagbo's announcement that he will organize another reconciliation forum in order to promote national unity. We have commended, we have supported, the regional mediation efforts and urged all the parties to try to resolve the situation in a peaceful manner.

At the same time, the situation in the country remains volatile, the situation is still quite fluid, and so we are taking what we think is a prudent step to move to what is called an ordered departure status, where we decide to move a lot of our people from the Embassy and their families out of the country as long as this situation persists. We are also now recommending that private citizens depart Cote D'Ivoire at this time -- defer all travel there and that they depart Cote D'Ivoire at this time.

So that's a new step. I think the Travel Warning, is out, but wanted to put that in some context.

And with that, I'd be glad to take your questions on this or other matters.

QUESTION: You know, what -- they've just -- the rebels and the government has just signed this peace agreement.

MR. BOUCHER: That's what I said.

QUESTION: What kind of message is this?

MR. BOUCHER: I tried to explain it, Matt. I think the --

QUESTION: Well, why do you choose this moment?

MR. BOUCHER: Because of what I just said, that we welcome this step, this is a good step, but the situation in the country remains volatile, it remains fluid, there is still violence, and we think it is prudent to take this step.

QUESTION: On North Korea, could you tell us what the US is saying to Pakistan about North Korea's nuclear program?


QUESTION: Is the US talking to Pakistan about North Korea's nuclear program?

MR. BOUCHER: I am not in a position to -- I know what you're referring to. I'm just not in a position to comment on it in any way on the reports that came out today. We have long urged all governments, all people, not to cooperate in military ways, not to engage in any military cooperation, with countries like North Korea who pose a threat to US national security interests.

I would say that since September 11th we've had a lot of support around the world, a very different relationship with many of the countries on whom North Korea has traditionally relied for technology, economic support and diplomatic support, and those relationships are important to us. And we have always, I think, urged people not to cooperate in military ways.

QUESTION: Are we still (inaudible)?

MR. BOUCHER: I'm not in a position to comment one way or the other on the stories that I think we're referring to.

QUESTION: When you're referring to these relationships, can you make it more narrow to Pakistan?


QUESTION: But they are among the --

MR. BOUCHER: With many of the countries with whom North Korea has traditionally relied for technology, economic and diplomatic support.

QUESTION: Well, but you can't -- you've talked to lots of countries.

MR. BOUCHER: Exactly. And we have the same message. And we have the same message. I don't want to specify any particular country because we have basically a similar message to all.

QUESTION: What's wrong with telling us about the concern?

MR. BOUCHER: There are stories that purport to relate to US intelligence, to what US intelligence may or may not know about relationships with North Korea, and I'm not in a position to comment on those in any fashion because they directly -- they attempt to directly define what's in our intelligence reports, and we all know that that's not something we do.

QUESTION: Can we go to the UN resolution, please?

QUESTION: Can we do North Korea?



QUESTION: Can you talk a bit about the meetings that Kelly and Bolton have had, how they went? Response from the Chinese?

MR. BOUCHER: Under Secretary Bolton and Assistant Secretary Kelly are, as you know, on a trip to consult with friends and allies in the region on North Korea's nuclear programs and the international response. The talks they have had in Beijing have been very useful and productive. We have had a long history of cooperation with China on Korean Peninsula issues, and both sides intend to continue that. We think the Chinese Government shares our concern about the possible introduction of nuclear weapons into the Korean Peninsula. We hope to proceed on the basis of that shared concern, and we will continue our consultations with China. I point out that the President will be meeting with the Chinese President next week.

QUESTION: Can I follow up? When you say productive it sounds, from what you said after that, that what's productive about it is that there's some common understanding, some rapport, some --

MR. BOUCHER: A shared concern is what it is.

QUESTION: Yeah, but it's not productive, is it, in any -- or is it productive in any way so far as acting against North Korea's nuclear program, doing something about it?

MR. BOUCHER: I think, first, you have to base -- you have to identify the shared concerns, then you can identify the steps that we can take together. It's productive in regard to starting to do that, but we have to continue our discussions as well.

Okay, sir.

QUESTION: Did the United States official have the routine contact with the DPRK through the New York channel this week on maybe Wednesday or Thursday?

MR. BOUCHER: Two days ago.

QUESTION: Two days ago?

MR. BOUCHER: What was that? Wednesday.

QUESTION: Wednesday.

MR. BOUCHER: Wednesday afternoon.

QUESTION: We did have contact on Wednesday?

MR. BOUCHER: Yes, we had a contact on Wednesday afternoon.

QUESTION: And that channel is not closed?

MR. BOUCHER: No. I think I said yesterday we continue to have that channel open.


QUESTION: Can you say whether -- I mean it sounds from what you have said yesterday that the Chinese were embarrassed by this, that they were -- well, that -- yeah, that was my reading of what you said, that they had promised to --

MR. BOUCHER: I don't remember saying anything like that.

QUESTION: All right. Then my question is moot.

MR. BOUCHER: But you can ask the question anyway if there's a question there, but I don't think I said anything like that.

QUESTION: I have a question.


QUESTION: The IAEA came out with a statement yesterday that said that they were seeking confirmation from North Korea of these US allegations, making it sound very much like they didn't necessarily take your reports at face value. Is that the impression -- they are saying that they are seeking confirmation of this from North Korea and from the United States as well. Is the IAEA among those who you told and shared the evidence with, and why do you think they would be doubting you?

MR. BOUCHER: I didn't read their statement that way. I think they said they looked for the North Koreans to say it directly to them so that they could then get involved in the process of verifiable elimination. It is I think much premature for anyone to speculate on how that process might work until the North Koreans, themselves, indicate to the world that they are --

QUESTION: But they called them US allegations. That doesn't sound very -- very solid.

MR. BOUCHER: I don't think they have any reason to doubt what we have said and what we heard. I will find out exactly what it was that -- how much we have been able to brief them and when we briefed them. But I didn't read the statement as indicating doubt about what we said. I think it was more on the order of indicating to the North Koreans that they should tell the world and tell the IAEA directly since the IAEA already has relationships there that, unfortunately, have not dealt with this issue.

QUESTION: I'm going to ask my question anyway.


QUESTION: Do you think the Chinese were surprised by these revelations by the US? Do you think they knew about this?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't know. That's as much of an answer as I can give you.


QUESTION: Is there any thought to bringing the UN Security Council into this? When Pakistan and India exploded their nuclear devices in 1998, the first thing that happened a few days afterward was convening of a UN Security Council meeting. I believe it was in Switzerland. And since this is a rather momentous development, wouldn't a UN Security resolution be appropriate?

MR. BOUCHER: We are studying the issue. We are consulting with our allies. But we haven't made decisions about next steps, so I can't define one or the other as the probable or a good idea.


QUESTION: Speaking of studying and consulting on the resolution, there's an impression that I have that this is a weekend for the capitals to digest what's been said all week, that negotiations are kind of -- if that's the word -- are being set aside for a few days of decision-making at home. Is that so or has the Secretary been on the phone again to various ministers?

MR. BOUCHER: The Secretary has been in touch with Foreign Secretary Straw today already. We continue to talk to other delegations in New York. So those channels are open. There's continuing close consultations, is the way I would put it.

Our position, I think, has been very clear from day one. We want a strong resolution. A strong resolution that finds Iraq in fundamental violation of its obligations, which is a point the Council has made numerous times, a strong resolution that strengthens the inspections regime in order to verify disarmament, which should occur, and a strong resolution that clarifies that there will be consequences for continued Iraqi noncompliance.

The Council needs to be unified in its resolve in order to achieve -- we expect to achieve those things in a resolution that also takes into account some things that we have heard from people in consultations. We continue to work on that. We are working on a tough resolution based on a draft that the United States and the UK have put forward and we believe we are making progress.

QUESTION: Having said that, is the State Department spokesman, officials at the State Department, comfortable with this gush of stories? I could guess where it was coming from, but the gush of stories that the US is basically caving, giving ground rapidly, for the sake of getting an agreement with France?

MR. BOUCHER: As I made clear, we have said from the start, as I -- in almost exactly the same terms that I use today and yesterday and the day before, exactly what we're looking for in this resolution. We have said that we will consult with the other governments involved, we will listen to them and we will try to get a resolution that everybody can support. I think we are comfortable with what we are doing, in terms of reaching agreement on a resolution that achieves our goals, that keeps the United Nations in the picture but that doesn't -- or that also retains for the President his full authority to do what is necessary for our national security.

That is what the Congressional resolution asks of the President, asks of the Administration -- do everything you can through the United Nations, and if that doesn't work you still have the authority. That will be paralleled, we think, in what we see out of the United Nations. So we'll be able to -- we're still working with others on how to do that and how to take into account concerns that they raise.

So I don't agree with the characterization. As far as the gush of stories, some of them may even have some portions that are true, but I'm not going to give a reader's guide today to which may be and which may not be.

Okay. Let's go to the back.

QUESTION: -- the word consequences, that there will be consequences, is not the same thing as obtaining authorization from the Security Council. So there has been --

MR. BOUCHER: I'm not going to try to debate words with you. We are in discussions with others in the Council about these efforts, about how to craft this resolution. And if you want to debate words afterwards, I guess we can do that then.

But as I said, we have stated from the start what our goals were and I think they remain the same goals that I expressed today. They remain the goals that are embodied in that Congressional resolution, that the President has expressed himself in taking this problem to the United Nations and telling the Security Council, as the Secretary General did, we have to deal with this and we should deal with it here.


QUESTION: Let me try to ask another way. If -- without an "if." On the consequences question, is it not true that originally the US was seeking that the UN would authorize all means to restore international peace and stability should the Iraqis be in material breach yet again of their obligations from the UN Security Council?

MR. BOUCHER: That's a rephrasing of her question. I could rephrase my answer, but I don't think I'll bother.

QUESTION: Well, the gist of these stories --

MR. BOUCHER: I'm not getting into the words of this or that. I'm saying that we made clear from the start what our goals were and those remain our goals and that's what we're working on with other governments.


QUESTION: Forgive me if this has already been asked and probably not answered by you, but there are reports out of New York and even coming, I believe, from within this building that you guys have dropped several items from your -- well, I'm going to get specific.

MR. BOUCHER: And they did too, but you can have a third crack. Go for it, Matt. Please.

QUESTION: About -- about who --

MR. BOUCHER: You may have a different specific, but --

QUESTION: About who is -- about who can -- about Perm 5 members being able to decide -- was that already asked?

MR. BOUCHER: No, that's a different specific, but I'll give the same answer.

QUESTION: About Perm 5 members being able to tell or to decide who gets on the inspection team and on Perm 5 members being able to say which Iraqis should be questioned outside the country?

MR. BOUCHER: I think I did mention that there are a lot of stories out there about what may or may not be in any text that we produce, what might or might not become part of the text, what we may or may not do in terms of words. I just don't think it is the moment to get into the wordsmithing.

QUESTION: Now, did you talk about the Secretary's meeting with Blix yesterday? Did you talk about that?

MR. BOUCHER: No, I didn't.

QUESTION: Could you tell us exactly what discussed.

MR. BOUCHER: No, I can't actually, because he was --

QUESTION: How about generally what they discussed?

MR. BOUCHER: It was a very small meeting. I think it was just the two of them. The Secretary was in New York. He saw it as an opportunity to talk to Dr. Blix about the process, about, again, as we have before about the capabilities, about the authority and the intention, the ability to conduct inspections once he gets the clear authority and instructions from the Security Council. So it was sort of one of his, you know, series of meetings going back some time that the Secretary's had with Dr. Blix and an opportunity to do that when he was in New York yesterday.

QUESTION: When he has these meetings, are you telling him what you would like to see him ask for or are you asking him what he would like, what kind of authority he would like?

MR. BOUCHER: I was not in the meeting yesterday and don't have that detailed a readout of it. I can tell you that the previous meetings that I've been in, we've talked to him about what his capabilities are and what authorities he needs, may need, what instructions might be useful to him. We've gone through the kinds of things that we've talked about in the resolution -- not here, but in the resolution -- to discuss how they might work and how they might be useful. He is, I'm sure, in touch with other Council members, other Perm 5 members, to have the same kinds of discussions because, in the end, we all want to support him. We all want to support him, make sure he has the ability to carry out thorough inspections and that he has the information he needs, the wherewithal he needs, and above all the authority and the instruction he needs. And that is why we are working on the Council resolution, which will affect him so greatly.

QUESTION: Richard, maybe this came up. I don't know. Did the Secretary speak to any of his Perm 5 colleagues this morning as he usually does, like Mr. Straw?

MR. BOUCHER: I mentioned Foreign Secretary Straw. That's the only one so far.

QUESTION: Only one so far?


QUESTION: All right, I want to switch from asking about the words, and since you don't want to talk about words, to concepts. Has "automaticity" been dropped by the US?

MR. BOUCHER: Automaticity, trigger -- these are descriptions of something that was, I guess I'd say, read into the text that we had. But as far as where we stand on the concepts or the elements of the resolution, all I can tell you is that we are working it. We have been back and forth with various other governments, especially the French, and we think we're making some progress.


QUESTION: Can I change the subject?

QUESTION: Could I? Is the Secretary planning on talking to any other Foreign Ministers today on this topic?

MR. BOUCHER: He may. I have not asked him, but since just about every day he talks to more than one I wouldn't be surprised.

QUESTION: This may have come up while I was out of the room, but is the United States opposed, in concept, in theory, to having the UN discuss violations, Iraqi noncompliance, if the inspection team finds Iraq to be noncompliant?

MR. BOUCHER: I would point you to the President's speech on September 12th. He said this is a problem for the United Nations, the United Nations needs to deal with it. Iraq noncompliance is a problem that we would hope, expect, the United Nations to deal with. The Congressional resolution that was just passed says we should everything we can through the United Nations, and if that doesn't work, the President still has his authority.

QUESTION: But your argument has been, is now and has been, that Iraq is noncompliant right now.


QUESTION: So what I'm saying is, is the United States opposed to the idea of the team going over there, coming back, reporting noncompliance once again? Are you opposed to having the Security Council discuss it again after --

MR. BOUCHER: Without getting into particular elements of a particular resolution, but as a general proposition, I would say the President took the problem to the United Nations on September 12th because he felt, we feel, it is important for the United Nations to deal with the problem of Iraqi noncompliance. If that Iraqi noncompliance is repeated and continues, I think we would still expect the United Nations to deal with the problem, to the Security Council to deal with the problem.

QUESTION: Then the answer is no, you're not opposed to them --

MR. BOUCHER: And Blix would report to the Council and the Council, we hope, would try to deal with the problem. I think the Secretary said if that should occur -- what was his quote yesterday? We have noncompliance, we should address it cooperatively if we can, but we will address it one way or the other.

QUESTION: So what you've just said is that you are not opposed to a new finding of noncompliance after 11 years already, you say, of noncompliance and the UN says of noncompliance, you're not opposed to the Security Council taking up the matter again, whether or not you feel bound by whatever they decide, if they decide anything --

MR. BOUCHER: We have asked the United Nations Security Council to deal collectively with the problem of Iraqi noncompliance. As the Secretary said yesterday, collective action is better, but there has to be action at that point.

QUESTION: Richard, I think what you just said seems to be new. You said Blix would report to the Council and the Council would deal with the problem.

MR. BOUCHER: We would still expect the Council to try to deal with the problem. The President brought the problem to the United Nations on September 12th --

QUESTION: Well, the way the Council usually deals with problems is by passing resolutions on what action needs to be taken.

MR. BOUCHER: You're trying to -- no, don't go there. The question of what the Council decides to do at some moment in the future will be for the Council to decide at some moment in the future. If they deal effectively with the problem with collective action, of military action or something, so much the better. If they don't, as we have stated in the Congressional resolution and elsewhere, the President still has his authority. We are going to deal with the problem one way or the other.

QUESTION: You keep saying -- okay, but can I just follow up? Does that mean that you envisage waiting until the Security Council deals or does not deal with the problem before you, yourself, decide whether unilateral action is called for?

MR. BOUCHER: The President -- now, tomorrow, the next day, and every day in the future -- has his authority under international and domestic law to do what he thinks is necessary to defend the interests of the United States. Nothing that we do at the United Nations will detract from that. The President will have that authority, has that authority, and will have that authority. So questions on what we might do at any given moment or any given day, we will see what happens. But the President always has his authority to protect our interests.

QUESTION: Can I please follow up on that? But the President said that it was up to -- the United Nations had to show that it was relevant. But the scenario -- how can it prove it's relevant if you're saying it doesn't really matter in the end anyway?

MR. BOUCHER: It can prove it is relevant by doing something about this problem. And that is what we are calling on it to do.

QUESTION: Okay. Is the United States prepared to give it a chance to deal with the problem?

MR. BOUCHER: The United States, since September 12th, has put this problem before the Security Council and has worked this problem with the Security Council and has worked this problem carefully and patiently through sincere consultations with other Council members. We continue to do that and we think we are making progress. I don't think there is any question of giving it a chance; we are working it.

QUESTION: But is it -- it's not wrong, though, that your preference is to be able to move immediately after a finding of noncompliance, correct?

MR. BOUCHER: Again, we are speculating on something down the road. But our preference is for the Security Council to take action if Iraq doesn't comply.

QUESTION: But, okay, so you've dropped -- so, but your argument has been in the past that Iraq hasn't been compliant for 11 years, right?

MR. BOUCHER: That's true.

QUESTION: You're now saying that you're willing to let it go back to the Security Council after a finding of noncompliance.

MR. BOUCHER: What have we been trying to do for the last -- we have been trying to get the Security Council to deal with the issue again, despite the fact that Iraq has been in defiance for 12 years. Despite the fact that Iraq has failed to comply with, I think, 16 Security Council resolutions, despite the fact that Iraq has tried to cheat, tried to hide, tried to evade its responsibilities, the President on September 12th said here is the problem and you guys have got to deal with it again. And that's what we're trying to do now.

QUESTION: Richard, you said "our preference" --

MR. BOUCHER: Let's let somebody else have a question.

QUESTION: On the same subject --

MR. BOUCHER: I'm sure Barry is, too.

QUESTION: You know, unlike my friends here, I wondered if your message had another purpose, okay, because you've a half dozen times now reminded us the President has authority, which is arguable -- we won't get off on that -- the Constitution may have another view. But you say he has the authority, you keep reminding us of authority, and I -- but I haven't heard, and at the same time, I haven't heard the Secretary repeat his use of the word "pressure," that he was sure the resolution would apply the necessary pressure.

So I'm wondering if your references to authority, your frequent references to authority, reflects some concern that what might come out of the UN would not apply pressure, would not be strong enough, would not be what you went in there trying to get; that the only way you can get a consensus is to have something less than you wanted or have nothing at all.

MR. BOUCHER: As I think I said before, we want a strong resolution. Ambassador Negroponte said yesterday in a speech to the Security Council the best way to ensure Iraqi compliance is through one resolution that sends a firm and unambiguous message. We have said again and again and again that we believe that it is necessary for the Council to show strength in this matter. It is necessary for the Council to come together on this matter. It is necessary for Iraq to understand very, very clearly that this is different from before and that there are consequences if Iraq doesn't comply, because we think that is the only way to ensure some hope of Iraqi compliance.

QUESTION: So, please, why are we being reminded so incessantly this morning, or this afternoon, that the President has authority if the Council doesn't act? We've always known that. Why is that today's message?

MR. BOUCHER: Because you keep asking questions that impinge on the issue.

QUESTION: Well, okay.

QUESTION: Richard, can I go back to -- this is important. You said, "Our preference is for the Security Council to take action if Iraq does not comply." Does that mean that once the inspectors have decided that Iraq is not in compliance, essentially, you then go into -- you then test the Security Council for its -- how serious it is about dealing with the problem. Is that a fair way of phrasing this?

MR. BOUCHER: At this moment, and as we have -- we have asked the asked the Security Council to take hold of this matter, take charge of this matter. The Secretary has said collective action is better, there has to be action. What will happen under any given circumstance is down the road and we will just have to see, but certainly we have been looking and continue to look to the Security Council for strong action.


QUESTION: Can I change the subject now?


QUESTION: Saudi Arabia is planning to introduce some restrictive measures on Americans who want to come to the country. They are going start fingerprinting all Americans. And your Embassy sent out a Warden message informing people of this --

MR. BOUCHER: I think it said -- we said may start. I'm not sure it's definitive yet.

QUESTION: In the near future the Government, yeah, of Saudi Arabia may start --

MR. BOUCHER: May start requiring --

QUESTION: What's the State Department's view of this and why was it necessary to send out a Warden message on this?

MR. BOUCHER: Well, it is a Saudi procedure, if they implement it and for the details I think you'd have to ask the Saudis. But they have said this is a response to what we have done at the ports of entries in terms of establishing a program to track visitors who come into this country. And the reason we put out a Warden message is because people who live and work in Saudi Arabia will be affected by this in terms of their own travel.

QUESTION: Do you think it's a reasonable measure if Saudi does start?

MR. BOUCHER: Governments decide on their own measures to control the flow of citizens in and out of their borders. Certainly the intention of our system is not to hamper the travelers; it's just to make sure we have a good idea, a better idea, of who's coming in and out of our country.

QUESTION: Did the Government of Saudi Arabia explain to you anything about why they would be taking the measures?

MR. BOUCHER: Well, as I said, this is what we have heard was that it is in response.

QUESTION: Right. But did they explain why they feel that Americans are a danger in Saudi Arabia?

MR. BOUCHER: They said -- we understand that they consider this a response to measures that we have taken.

QUESTION: Is there something new on this from when the Warden message was actually released, which was like two months ago or something?

MR. BOUCHER: No, it was October 6th that we released the Warden message.

QUESTION: There's not -- so there hasn't been another one? There hasn't been --

MR. BOUCHER: Not that I know of, no.

QUESTION: And we don't know whether they've actually started?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't.

QUESTION: I don't know either.

MR. BOUCHER: I don't. Okay. Sir.

QUESTION: Did you see the Cox News story? I believe it was in The Atlanta-Journal Constitution today.


QUESTION: Okay. It was about the upcoming GAO report. Have you guys -- have you seen the draft of the report?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't know. I haven't had a chance to check into it this morning.

QUESTION: Okay, all right. Because -- I'll ask about it next week.

MR. BOUCHER: All right. If it comes out, we'll deal with it then.


QUESTION: Mr. Boucher, do you know if during yesterday's meeting between Secretary Colin Powell and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem issue was discussed?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't remember it coming up in that specific meeting. I'll have to check and see if was raised during the course of the visit with the Israeli delegation.


QUESTION: Could you confirm that Pakistan has actually helped North Korea to build nuclear weapons?

MR. BOUCHER: I was asked those questions before and I didn't come close to not answering them.

QUESTION: You can confirm or deny?

MR. BOUCHER: I have nothing to say on the subject.

QUESTION: And there's also a report that the Russians gave --

MR. BOUCHER: I have nothing to say on that report, either. Want to try another one? Try the Chinese? Nothing to say on that one, either.

QUESTION: Were you already asked, and did you answer, about the report in The Washington Post about the commitment the United States made to Sharon at the very first act of a war would be the destruction of Iraq's scud missiles?

MR. BOUCHER: I wasn't asked, but I don't think I would try to talk about anything in the military vein or in the future, possible tense.

QUESTION: Well, there's also a political promise --

MR. BOUCHER: No, I'm afraid that's not something I'm prepared to deal with here.

QUESTION: Same area?


QUESTION: Do you guys have anything new to say about the Lebanon-Israel water dispute? I see that the Israelis have said that if they -- if Lebanon pumps anything more than the absolute minimum of water that they will attack. If it's just the same --

MR. BOUCHER: I don't have any new news on that today. Our water expert was just out in the region. He's back now. Assistant Secretary Burns is going to be traveling in the region. I think he's in Cairo now. As he meets with the parties and talks to them, certainly this is going to be one of the issues we're going to want to take up.

The Secretary discussed it yesterday with Prime Minister Sharon so it is an issue that we have been working on, trying to make sure that the water resources are shared appropriately and that whatever disputes there may be are solved in a peaceful manner.

QUESTION: Okay. And the other thing is that yesterday I asked you about this -- these Israeli reports that you guys had presented Prime Minister Sharon with this new roadmap, and you said that it was the same thing as the Quartet had discussed. But it's a little more detailed than actually what the Quartet had discussed; is that correct?

MR. BOUCHER: Again, I don't know if a precise roadmap was presented to Prime Minister Sharon during the visit, but what we have been doing since the last Quartet meeting when we described the three phases -- and I think we said in there we'd be working out in more specific terms how that process can work -- that constitutes the roadmap for the three phases. That's what we have been doing. We have been keeping in touch with the others. That's what Assistant Secretary Burns was doing with the Quartet in his meetings in Paris.

QUESTION: Can you be a little more specific about what type -- what areas you guys have managed to flesh the map out?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't think I can at this point. That's one of the ongoing topics of consultation to the Quartet and then with our meetings with key Arab friends in the region. As you look at what we put out before in terms of the kinds of phases we need to go through of reform and rebuilding, and then moving on towards establishing a basis over the longer term for a Palestinian state, we need to look at how the steps, the obligations that both of the sides have, that all the parties have, to move forward down that road, the kinds of steps they can be taking at each stage, and that's what we're trying to do.

QUESTION: Wait a minute, a couple more.


QUESTION: The Embassy in Jakarta this morning put out another message saying that there was a continuing threat of terrorist attacks. Is there something new on this or is this -- or are you just following basically the Australians and others who have said the same thing?

MR. BOUCHER: Well, as usual, you're ahead of me on that one. I'll have to check and see what the new Warden message was.

QUESTION: All right. How about the -- it wasn't a Warden message. It was labeled a Public Announcement.


QUESTION: Also, do you have any feedback yet, or what's your read of your experts who are in Ukraine investigating the Kuchma allegations? Is there anything new to report on that?

MR. BOUCHER: I don't have it with me but I think no. They're still there. We said they'd be there a week or ten days, and I think we're coming to a full five days into. So no reports yet.

QUESTION: And then I've got a last one, which really doesn't involve you, but I understand that you guys are relatively pleased that the new government of Colombia has sought and succeeded in getting the extradition of a former government minister from Spain for allegedly helping the AUC.

MR. BOUCHER: Yes. We welcome the extradition of Carlos Arturo Marulanda and congratulate the authorities in Colombia and Spain for their efforts in bringing to justice a former government minister who has been charged with aiding and abetting paramilitary groups in Colombia.

We support President Alvaro Uribe's determination to charge, pursue and prosecute criminals, drug traffickers, and those who threaten Colombia's security and democracy.

That's all? That's the whole world? Thank you.


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